Man admits sexual abuse of minor

January 13, 2019

HUNTINGTON — A man accused of sexually abusing a juvenile family member over a two-year period pleaded guilty in Cabell County on Thursday.

Joseph Allen Cruickshank, 31, of Given in Jackson County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse. Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell sentenced him to serve a five-to 25-year prison sentence. He will also have to serve 50 years of special supervised release once he completes his prison sentence.

The sentence will be reconsidered next month.

Cruickshank has been jailed since August 2017 after the victim told her mother about the alleged sexual acts. He had initially been charged with 10 counts of first-degree sexual abuse and 10 counts of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian.

During an interview with a trooper and a representative with the Child Advocacy Center, the victim said she had been sexually abused by Cruickshank nearly every day between June 2015 and July 2017.

The victim said Cruickshank spoke openly about male and female genitalia, and she also accused him of touching her private parts. The alleged abuse happened at the victim’s home in Huntington.

West Virginia State Police said during an interview at the Huntington detachment that Cruickshank denied the victim’s accusations, but did acknowledge that the victim would lie with him in bed in the mornings, corroborating some of the victim’s statements, according to original criminal complaints filed.

In January 2018 he had requested, and was denied, a change of venue, citing a possible relationship between a victim’s family member and the Cabell County Prosecutor’s Office.

Cruickshank was represented by defense attorney Todd Meadows, while assistant prosecutor Lauren Plymale represented the prosecution.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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